Portfolio tracking spreadsheet: v2.0 release notes

This post is a sequel to my Investment Tracking Spreadsheet post of three years ago.  A number of readers have found the spreadsheet (‘example portfolio returns tracker’) outlined in that post helpful, so it’s time to bring it up to date. 

Since I wrote that post I have in fact been using a Google Sheet as my ‘day to day’ tracking tool, which gives me live prices on most of my holdings.  My tracking Google Sheet uses the very same FvL example workbook as its master ‘database’, so the security data (tickers, expense ratios, etc) is updated fairly regularly. 

I have taken advantage of the long Easter weekend to release an updated public sheet (here) which supports live prices.  The difficult bit is that it handles both equities (via GoogleFinance) and also funds (as listed on Hargreaves Lansdown). 

The sheet is still read only, but you can make a copy (either download a copy in Excel, or make a copy in Google Sheets) to edit yourself.  All appropriate disclaimers apply – use at your own risk.

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My investment tracking spreadsheet

I’ve been tracking my portfolio rigorously for over four years now.  One thing I’ve been asked for quite a few times is a copy of the spreadsheet I use to monitor it.  So here goes.

I face three key challenges in tracking my portfolio’s returns:

  1. Unitising the portfolio.  This means correcting for ins/outs – withdrawals or deposits. Just because a £1m portfolio gained £100k doesn’t mean it’s delivered a return of 10%; if £30k of that gain was fresh contributions, for instance.
  2. Evaluating the portfolio’s exposure.  By exposure I mean allocation by geography and allocation by asset type (equities, bonds, etc).  Some platforms let you ‘X-ray’ your holdings but each has a proprietary way of doing it, and many platforms don’t offer any such feature.
  3. Integrating my holdings across multiple accounts.  I have accounts with several brokerages and platforms.  Each has a different way of doing it.  They don’t even use the same tickers for the same underlying assets.  I want a way of pooling all the portfolios into one consistent spreadsheet.

My template spreadsheet is available as a Google Sheet here.  It’s read only, but you can make a copy (either download a copy in Excel, or make a copy in Google Sheets) to edit yourself.  All appropriate disclaimers apply – use at your own risk.

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Useful ETFs

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) make up a large portion of my portfolio (though not all – a subject for a future post). I often struggle to lay my hands on a simple list of the key ETFs when I need it, despite useful resources like Monevator’s Low cost index tracker page.

I’ve just created a reference page listing the useful ETFs I look at. Points to note:

  • It’s laid out the way I look at my portfolio. Equities vs Fixed income. And the geographies are UK/USA/Australia/other.
  • I focus on physical ETFs, not synthetic ones.
  • I prefer the lowest cost ETFs, which are listed first in each category.
  • Everything on this list has a ticker and is easily tradable using an online broker near you.
  • My investment biases/prejudices are visible. I’m barely investing in government bonds right now, given their record low yields, but I do like high yield corporate bonds. I use dividend / value ETFS, but not growth or sector ones.

I’d love any comments/corrections/suggestions.